Formazione insegnanti, World Englishes e English as a Lingua Franca: verso un approccio glottodidattico WE- e ELF-Informed
The long-standing research in World Englishes (WE) and, more recently, in English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) has greatly contributed to problematise several areas in connection to English language teaching, highlighting in particular the importance of teacher education as a fundamental step towards a plurilithic approach in ELT. Teacher education can indeed play a pivotal role in providing teachers with critical tools to understand the socio-linguistic and cultural changes brought about by the pluralization of English and its function as a Lingua Franca, fostering awareness of the pedagogical implications that these changes imply.
This paper illustrates findings from a research study aimed at investigating trainee teachers' beliefs concerning WE- and ELF-informed ELT pedagogic practices. The study was carried out with prospective teachers of English attending pre-service TFA (Tirocinio Formativo Attivo) and PAS (Percorso Abilitante Speciale) teacher education courses at the University of Verona, where part of the English Language Module focused on WE, ELF and their pedagogical implications. By means of questionnaires, interviews, class reflections and materials developed by the trainees as part of the course, we investigated the participants’ familiarity with main issues in WE and ELF before attending the course, and to what extent the aforementioned Module contributed to expand and/or modify their awareness of these issues in pedagogical terms. The ways in which the participants changed their perception of the multifaceted reality of English today after attending the course, as well as how these (new) concepts can influence their teaching practices, will be discussed; findings show that participants appear willing to shift towards a more plurilithic and inclusive WE- and ELF-informed didactic approach in their classroom practices.
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